Giulio Mazzarino was the son of the Major-domo of a Sicilian Prince .who joined the papal diplomatic service where he was favorably noticed by Cardinal Richelieu (September 9). After Mazzarino wasappointed as papal Nuncio to France, Richelieu appointed Giulio his personal secretary, and he was soon elected as Cardinal, even though he was not a priest. To secure his political future in France, Giulio Mazzarino changed his name to Jules Mazarin.
When Queen Anne appointed Mazarin as First Minister after Richelieu's death and allegedly made him her lover. Mazarin led the Thirty Years' War, crushed the Nobles' revolt (Fronde), and defeated Spain, thereby providing France with th secure boarders. However, Mazarin also milked the French Treasury to come the richest man in Europe.
Mazarin was a noted collector of art and jewels, particularly diamonds, and he bequeathed the "Mazarin diamonds" to Louis XIV in 1661, some of which remain in the collection of the Louvre museum in Paris. His personal library was the origin of the Bibliotheque Mazarine in Paris.
Unfortunately, Giulio Mazzarino' s tastes were not as uncompromising as Richelieu's, although he was responsible for introducing opera to France. Jules was so a dandy, spending thousands of livre on his perfumes, which he doused over himself and his pet monkey. He still used the name Mazzarini on all documents sent to Rome to maintain his "Italianess" since his ultimate goal was to be elected Pope; a goal he almost achieved. Although Mazarin bribed the Spanish Cardinals to vote for him after Alexander VII's death, Mazarin died before the Pope
Mazarin tried very hard to copy Richelieu's aesthetics and even had a variation of the Richelieu cookie perfected and named after him (Mazarins). Mazarins differ from Richelieu's, primarily by substituting a chocolate almond filling instead of Richelieu's beloved frangipani.
Cookie Ingredients 4 TB butter 2 TB confectioner's sugar 2 egg yolks 3 cups flour 1/2 cup ground almonds butter for greasing baking pans
raspberry jam 2 egg whites 1 cup sugar 1 oz grated semi-sweet chocolate 1/2 cup chopped almonds
Cream butter and confectioner's sugar. Beat in egg yolks one at a time.Blend in flour and ground almonds to make a stiff dough.Rollout dough to a rectangle 10"x 6". Cut four 4"x12" strips. Place on a buttered cookie sheet and bake for about 12 - 15 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven.Beat egg whites. Fold in sugar, chocolate, and almonds. Spoon into a saucepan. Cook over low heat until mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat and spread over raspberry layer on cookies.Return cookies to oven and bake for 20 minutes until topping is firm and glossy. Remove from oven and cut into 2"x4"strips .
© 2010 Gordon Nary